Think Green for Austin Roofing, Building or Remodeling
Energy efficiency and conservation of resources are increasingly important to people — including those of us at RoofCrafters. Austin homeowners, business owners and contractors alike are beginning to seriously consider both their impact on the planet and long term energy costs when they build or remodel. RoofCrafters, Inc. wants to partner with its customers to lower their long-term energy costs and to seek innovative ways to conserve our resources. We believe that responsibility must be shared by all when it comes to preserving our world for future generations, and we’re actively learning every day about how to do this better. We’ve put together the following information as a place for us to get started. We invite you to consider the advantages of going green during your next roofing, remodeling, or building project — and to teach us what you are discovering that will improve our ability to be good global citizens.
Remodeling, re-roofing included, produces a heavy burden on landfills in the United States. Eleven million TONS of asphalt shingle waste is going into American landfills each year. Asphalt shingles represent approximately 90% of all roofing materials in the U.S. These products are not recyclable and take up space in landfills. Over the last twenty-five years, it has been RoofCrafters’ experience that low-end, 20-25 year shingles actually need to be replaced in 10-12 years. The higher quality shingles provide a longer life span and thus require less frequent replacement. Less frequent replacement reduces the amount of asphalt shingle waste pouring into landfills.
If shingles end up being the roofing product you choose to have on your home, RoofCrafters, Inc. encourages our potential customers to explore higher quality, high impact shingles with longer warranties from the manufacturer. Thirty, forty, and fifty-year warranties extend the life span of your roof. What makes this important? You get a great look and long lasting protection while reducing the frequency of roof replacement in the future. This means you can delay the roof replacement process, including the disposal, labor, and material costs, while also minimizing the burden on our landfills.
When it comes to shingles, RoofCrafters, Inc. is a Master Elite installer for GAF-Elk materials. For more information on shingle roofing visit their web sites at www.gaf.com and www.elkcorp.com.
Green Building: An Old Dog Can Learn
Several fortuitous opportunities to work with customers who are avidly involved in the sustainability movement have made a difference for me personally — and for RoofCrafters as a company. Austin-based “green” architect Gary Greenblum is one of those important contacts. While planning the roofing, gutters and painting for his Leander office building project, Gary introduced me to the idea of enhancing the energy efficiency of a building by NOT ventilating a metal roof. It turned everything my 25 years of roofing experience had taught me about keeping an attic cool upside down — and set us all on a path of exciting new learning. Following conversations with him, we learned more about creating a “thermal envelope” and by talking with alternative energy experts at Austin Energy and doing further research. I was so fascinated with it all that I decided to “test” all of the new thinking in the construction of my own home. A standing seam metal roof, foam insulation, tankless hot water heaters and multi-speed HVAC compressors have combined to make our home quieter, more comfortable and more energy efficient than I could ever have imagined. The excitement about green building has now spread throughout our company!
Dave Harycki, President
Innovation in Shingles
Elk Corporation, one of the country’s largest shingle manufacturers, has come out with a line of “Cool Color” shingles, designed to reflect heat. This is currently the only cool roof asphalt shingle offered in multiple colors (all-white shingles reflect heat well and are available from many manufacturers). The Prestique Cool Color series comes in five popular colors and offers a 40-year limited warranty. The Elk “Cool Color” series meets initial Energy Star performance levels.
Across the asphalt shingle industry there is great effort to find alternatives to petroleum-based products and to embed solar cells right into the roofing shingles or tiles themselves. These are still on the frontier and we’re working to stay abreast of when these become viable options.
Standing Seam Metal Roofing
Even the highest quality asphalt shingles will need to be replaced in time. Since these shingles are not recyclable, and the waste is still inevitably headed to a landfill, there are greener alternatives. Metal roofing is a great alternative to shingles both in overall performance (see standing seam metal roofing) and in energy efficiency. Steel, copper, and aluminum roofing contain high percentages of recycled content, up to 100% in aluminum products. Also, metal roofing products are easily recycled in their post use. RoofCrafters, Inc. recycles steel and aluminum products it removes from existing roofs.
RoofCrafters, Inc. encourages customers to use extremely durable, 24-gauge steel on its standing seam metal roofs. The 24 Ga. steel will outlast even the best asphalt shingles. Its proven durability will significantly reduce or eliminate future replacement. Metal roofs, specifically lighter colors, also act as a radiant barrier and reflect heat well—thus keeping the attic cooler and lowering cooling costs. Drexel Metals Corporation, one of RoofCrafters’ suppliers, is an Energy Star partner. With the exception of drexelume, all colors offered by Drexel Metals meet Energy Star guidelines for energy efficiency. To learn more, visit www.drexmet.com.
There are many things to consider when deciding which direction to go when remodeling/re-roofing your home or business. Of all building components, roofing materials receive the most direct exposure to the elements, especially the hot Texas sun. Unfortunately, the least costly roof materials typically offer the least durability and energy efficiency. Often a higher purchase price for higher quality of materials may be a better deal over the long haul, not only prolonging the next replacement, but lowering energy bills as well.
Americans spend $40 BILLION per year just to air condition buildings! That represents approximately one-sixth of all the electricity produced in this country. RoofCrafters, Inc. can actually reduce the cost of living in your home or operating your business by installing energy-efficient materials and incorporating designs that can lower monthly utility bills.
In addition to the roofing system, there are several other factors that affect the efficiency with which your home or office uses energy. Of particular importance are attic and wall insulation, radiant barriers, and ventilation. In each of these areas, more is not necessarily better. Again, quality and how well these things work together will impact both your comfort and energy results. New options are becoming available every day that reverse earlier thinking about how to achieve energy efficiency!
In a competitive business world, RoofCrafters, Inc. is trying to do its part to lower energy use and be as environmentally friendly as possible in the process. It is a continuing process and we hope our customers appreciate our efforts — and help to keep us on the sustainability frontier. Please consider energy efficient or “green roofing” when you decide to remodel or re-roof your home or business. Even with everybody doing a little it can make a big difference in lowering waste and excessive energy use. For more information on green building and energy efficiency, visit these web sites: